Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Thu Aug 26 10:30:26 PDT 1999

Charles Brown wrote:

>Marxists don't disagree with Bobbie Burns that the best laid plans
>of mice and men often go astray. But a dialectical approach teaches
>that in any problem parts must be understood in relation to the
>whole, thus the concept of the whole or the total is a critical
>aspect any problem solving including human social economy. The
>critique of perfect knowledge does not refute this, because this
>dimension is already cognized in the Marxist dialectic of relative
>and absolute truth with respect to nature and society.

In other words, your kind of Marxism does claim a kind of perfect knowledge.

On this issue, I don't think it's very fruitful to talk at a high level of abstraction. I think you've - not you, Charles, but anyone - got to talk about the body or bodies doing the planning, the space of such planning (nation? region? locality?), the degree of precision (x% of social resources devoted to health, or the precise mix of band-aids and MRI machines), etc.


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